Re: Colored Code

Subject: Re: Colored Code
From: Chuck Martin <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 15:49:53 -0800

Simon North wrote:

Well, thank you all for the opinions, and the people who provided me some tips on how to mangle the output to implement the color coding. I must admit to being a little disappointed at the results.

Sadly, not one of you pointed me in a useful direction, but good ol' Google got me there in the end. I have a load of URLs if anyone is interested, but the bottom line is that code signalling (that's what it is called) is useful when editing code, but is an obstacle to code comprehension. Indentation and white space are good; color is bad. Sources are Fitter, Gellenbeck, and a very useful report from CMU (Human-Computer Interaction Institute Technical Report CMU-

I still am unsure of what you mean by "highlighting," but if I assume it to mean, as is common in many code editors, that the type itself is of a different color, not the background, then I'm not sure I agree with that conclusion. The Deitel book series, one of which I used for an Internet programming class last semester, color codes its code listings. Except for the comments in a ligher color, I can say that *I* was able to read through the code easily, perhaps even more easily than if the code was all black text.

One advantage of color codign code samples is that the pattern of color in the sample will match the pattern of color users will see on the screen when they create similar code.

One additional thing I didn't see mentioned: If you're actually going to take the now-rare step of printing and distributing real books yourself, the cost of full-color printing is significan't higher than both black & white printing and printing of, say, a single spot color.

Add to this that even if you're not printing books yourself, but are distributing PDF files, the vast majority of business printers are monochrome, so a carefully constructed color scheme simply won't show up, and some colors might print too faintly to easily read.

Finally, if you were to have to create color codign in your documents, the best and easiest way to do it would be to set up semantically useful character styles (for example, "tag attribute" rather than "green"), then assign those styles to mnemonic key combinations.

Chuck Martin
User Assistance & Experience Engineer
twriter "at" sonic "dot" net

"I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.
The day may come when the courage of Men fail, when we forsake our
friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day!
This day, we fight!"
- Aragorn

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given you."
- Gandalf



RoboHelp X5 is a giant leap forward in Help authoring technology, featuring all new Word 2003 support, Content Management, Multi-Author support, PDF and XML support and much more! View an online demo:

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archiver -at- techwr-l -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Re: Use of Google to check out candidates
Next by Author: Re: 10 pt vs 12 pt
Previous by Thread: Re: Colored Code
Next by Thread: Re: Colored Code

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads